Jordan’s Six Senses Evason Hot Springs Eco Resort. Does King Abdullah and family come here for fun?
There are numerous eco-tourism options available in the Middle East. Green-hearted tourists can climb “God’s Mountain” in Egypt or visit the desert oasis of Siwa along the Red Sea coast in Sinai. But in the United Arab Emirates, five star eco-tourism is becoming increasingly popular according to Hotelier MiddleEast.com. Dubai and Abu Dhabi destinations that ostensibly help to “save the planet” offer unique accommodations within a luxury, “eco-friendly” setting.
Eco luxury: nature with all the frills
The idea of more luxurious accommodations is to attract people who might otherwise pass up opportunities to “commune with nature” due to a lack of comfort and amenities these people are usually accustomed to. Some of these locations include Al Maha — now absorbed into a resort ‘megabrand’ called Starwood, and the Desert Islands Resort by Anantara that also has luxurious eco resorts in the Maldives, Thailand, and Bali.
In Abu Dhabi, the resort is set within the Sir Bani Yas island nature reserve in Abu Dhabi’s western region, . This exotic location is a “privately owned nature reserve of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan”, and according to brochures describing it, all efforts are made to make guests feel that they are experiencing a trip to paradise”.
Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai
Other area locations, on Oman’s Musandam Peninsula and the Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa in Jordan have attracted equal amounts of praise and criticism (as being truly friendly to the planet).
But according to the Hotelier MiddleEast, they certainly fit the bill as luxury eco retreats, with all the amenities one would expect to have – for a price of course.
Sinai on the cheap
The desire to go to these more unusual holiday locations depends on one’s desire to combine luxury with eco tranquility, and be able to afford the prices offered. For those who wish to truly be in natural settings, and are willing to put up with some measure of physical discomforts, may we recommend more basic eco tourism in places like the Sinai Red Sea coast, squat toilets et al.
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Jordan Eco photo: Six Senses.com